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Proper tools, timing key to pruning success

By Mary Jo Frank

Early spring is an excellent time to check your woody plants to see if they need pruning, horticulturalist Ellyn Meyers told the Chelsea Area Garden Club at its March meeting.

Meyers, who teaches horticulture and landscape design at Lansing Community College, said gardeners prune for multiple reasons, including to:

  • Improve plant health by removing dead and diseased branches.
  • Improve over-all structure of the plant by removing suckers, water shoots, and branches that cross or rub one another.
  • Reduce plant size.
  • Rejuvenate plants.
  • Give a plant a distinctive shape, such as with topiary.

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Pre Plant Sale Dig/Potting Session

Working in a gentle spring rain, Chelsea Area Garden Club members pot ornamental grasses for the club’s plant sale. Perennials, ferns, hostas, wildflowers and herbs from local gardens also will be for sale.

Working in a gentle spring rain, Chelsea Area Garden Club members pot ornamental grasses for the club's May 14 plant sale in downtown Chelsea, across from the Chelsea District Library.  Perennials, ferns, hostas, wildflowers and herbs from local gardens also will be for sale.

TOUGH PERENNIALS FOR TOUGH PLACES

Tough Perennials for Tough Places: Chelsea Area Garden Club Offers – Free Public Outreach Program 

Need some ideas and suggestions for difficult places to plant? Come attend the Chelsea Area Garden Club’s Public Outreach Program on Thursday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m., as they invite Art Cameron, Professor of Horticulture at Michigan State University and recently appointed Director of the MSU Horticulture Gardens, to speak about “Tough Perennials for Tough Places”.

 

Tough sites call for tough plants – be they dry, wet, windy, sunny or shady. The good news is that perennials are remarkably diverse and there really is a perennial plant for every tough spot you can imagine. Art will cover some of his favorite tough plants – including a wide assortment of herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses suitable for sun, shade, wet and dry. He will also give ideas on how to use this unique group of plants in residential and commercial designs. Learn to create a new look in your garden using some of these great plants.

 

According to Charlene Harris, CAGC Program Committee Chair, “Art is an avid botanist and perennial gardener, and is renowned for his exuberant personality, beautiful slide shows, and passion for plants!” A world traveler, Art and his wife, Marlene have explored and lectured in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Europe, Thailand, China, New Zealand and the United States. Art has designed several demonstration gardens specifically dedicated to vegetables and ornamental grasses, and herbaceous perennials. The designs are an expression of his free-spirited approach to plants – and to life!

 

The program is free and open to the public as part of the CAGC’s mission to encourage and stimulate love of gardening through education and demonstrations. The program will be held at the First United Methodist Church on 128 Park Street in Chelsea. Parking is available at the Park Street Lot and behind the Purple Rose Theater. Refreshments will be served and donations will be accepted at the door. Also, Master Gardener educational credits will be available for attending this program.

 

The CAGC, founded in 1997, now claims over 50 members. Proceeds from the Plant Sale, the Garden Walk, and member dues, support civic beautification and educational programs in the community. The club also provides scholarships for Master Gardener and Junior Master Gardener applicants, as well as small grants to fund small, local gardening projects.  For information about the CAGC, visit www.chelseagardenclub.com.

 

Photo: Art Cameron in the garden

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For information about the Public Outreach Program, please contact Charlene Harris at (734) 433-9773 or at charris@provide.net.